Liberal journalists and Democrats responded to news of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement with loud moans of grief and curse words on Wednesday.
“Oh my g-d,” one man says in audio of the moment the news broke inside a Democratic National Committee meeting. A woman can be heard moaning in the background. “Not that he’s done us any good on these recent decisions, but he was the one that was usually persuadable,” he adds. The woman who broke the news continues, “This is not good news, for anyone.”
How it sounded inside a DNC committee meeting the moment Justice Kennedy’s retirement was announced pic.twitter.com/6S9uO2JGzQ
— David Siders (@davidsiders) June 27, 2018
Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court was a jolt to liberals and conservatives, as it provides President Trump the opportunity to put a fifth conservative on the bench. Kennedy was the usual swing vote and often sided with the liberal justices.
The liberal site Splinter tweeted the f-word in all caps over and over in response to the news.
Alternate headline: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK https://t.co/23wjlvJn5h
— Splinter (@splinter_news) June 27, 2018
“F-ck. You. Justice Kennedy,” tweeted ThinkProgress editor Ian Millhiser. “I think Roberts probably won’t overrule Obergefell, but religious conservatives just won the right to discriminate,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
Fuck. You. Justice. Kennedy.https://t.co/q6Asq83WJL
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) June 27, 2018
A liberal podcaster simply tweeted the following:
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) June 27, 2018
Democrats on the hill were “stunned” according to Hill reporter Scott Wong. “We’re screwed!” he heard one of them say.
Another House Dem just now: “We’re screwed!” https://t.co/vc4LkLSFRv
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) June 27, 2018
Activists and journalists quickly began forecasting outlandish scenarios of doom for the country, and proposing strategies.
“Man, summer is going to suck,” NBC’s Chuck Todd tweeted.
Man, summer is going to suck… it will be ugly; normally nice people will act like idiots… we have a full fledged political circus on our hands… up to the voters to decide what they want…
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) June 27, 2018
A staff writer for The New Yorker predicted abortion would be illegal within 18 months, and a commentator advised women to “stock up on abortions.”
Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months. #SCOTUS
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) June 27, 2018
Stock up on abortions now. Roe v. Wade is gone.
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) June 27, 2018
Another liberal writer said the news is “code red” for democracy in America. “Republicans are successfully making us more & more like authoritarian regimes like Turkey, Hungary, & Russia with each passing day,” he wrote.
Anthony Kennedy's replacement with another Neil Gorsuch is a code red for American democracy. Republicans are successfully making us more & more like authoritarian regimes like Turkey, Hungary, & Russia with each passing day https://t.co/G6X9ZvAN7D
— Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) June 27, 2018
One activist suggested Democrats try to use the Trump-Russia narrative to hold up the confirmation vote.
In light of the overwhelming evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to undermine our democracy and sway the 2016 election, there should be no confirmation hearing or vote on Justice Kennedy’s replacement until we see a full report from Mueller.
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 27, 2018
Another liberal writer advised Democrats to consider overthrowing the government. “It’s our moral right to overthrow an oppressive government,” he wrote. “Republicans are the tyrants. Treat them as such.”
My advice to Democratic candidates : Read up on the American revolution. Channel Thomas Paine. Any government that lacks the consent of the governed is illegitimate. It's our moral right to overthrow an oppressive government. Republicans are the tyrants. Treat them as such.
— Greg (@waltisfrozen) June 27, 2018
In an article rounding up all the laws he expects to be overturned, Millhiser wrote that thanks to Kennedy’s decision, Trump will be “one of the most consequential American leaders” in modern history. “Roe v. Wade will soon be a memory,” he wrote. “Anti-discrimination laws will become shriveled husks. The LGBTQ rights revolution will halt and, most likely, begin to march in reverse.”
Thanks, Justice Kennedy. pic.twitter.com/2w8EjRwVtU
— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) June 27, 2018